What is Arbitrage Betting? Our Arbing Guide in Gambling

In betting industry, you will often hear about arbitrage betting or arb, sometimes are called even surebets, surewins. So, what is Arbitrage Betting you would ask.

Here is Wikipedia’s definition: “Betting arbitrage (“miraclebets”, “surebets”, sports arbitrage) is an example of arbitrage arising on betting markets due to either bookmakers‘ differing opinions on event outcomes or errors. When conditions allow, by placing one bet per each outcome with different betting companies, the bettor can make a profit regardless of the outcome.

Mathematically arbitrage occurs when there are a set of odds, which represent all mutually exclusive outcomes that cover all state space possibilities (i.e. all outcomes) of an event, whose implied probabilities add up to less than 1.[1] In the bettors’ slang an arbitrage is often referred to as an arb; people who use arbitrage are called arbers” (source: Wikipedia)

So, in simpler terms, arbing or arbitrage betting – is a betting system that allows a customer to place multiple bets to guarantee a profit regardless of the outcome. Next, we are going to explain in more details how this concept applies to our niche and what recommendations you can apply to your everyday betting activity.

How does Arbitrage Betting works?

Arbitrage involves an activity where you simultaneously place bets on all possible outcomes of an event at odds that guarantee profit, whatever the result of the event will be. Arb betting is possible when there is a difference between odds that allow a profit to be made while covering all outcomes. Usually, this is a just two outcomes bet. A good example is a tennis match, where only two results are possible.

Arbitrage opportunities will arise when bookmakers disagree on odds, or make a mistake when pricing a market and is considered more a mathematical process to ensure profit when actually gambling. Many football betting systems and horse racing strategies are speculating on arbitrage betting concept.

How arbing fits Matched Betting?

Looking on how matched betting is working, we can say that it is a form of arbing. The matched bettors are using arbing to cancel out or minimise losses by placing opposing bets on two separate outcomes. The profit is then made from bookmaker bonuses, usually in the form of free bets.

What is Arbitrage Betting Example

Now, that we defined the concept of arbitrage betting let’s use an example to understand exactly how it works. Normally, bookmakers will almost always factor in an edge, where the total odds of all outcomes are more than 100%. Arbitrage systems rely on the combined odds from the different firms producing a negative margin, basically to be less than 100%.

An example of arbitrage strategy could be applied to a tennis match:

Rafal NadalNovak DjokovicMarket %
Odds with Betstars1.303.93102.4%
Odds with Betwin1.422.90104.9%
Arbitrage, betting on Nadal with Betwin and Djokovic with Betstars1.423.9395.9% (a 4.1% profit margin)

In this example, if we bet £100 on Nadal at 1.42, it would return us £142 (if he wins the match). By then placing £36.13 on Djokovic at 3.93, we would match the expected return of our Nadal bet (or just shy at £141.99).

In total, we’d be staking £136.13 (£100 on Nadal + £36.13 on Djokovic) for a guaranteed return of £5.86 (£141.99 minus our £136.13 stake).

Is it Arbing allowed by bookmakers? Is it legal?

As matched betting, arbing is perfectly legal but, it might not surprise you that, not many bookmakers welcome regular arbers because you take value from them. However, the problem bookies face is identifying customers who are using arbing as a strategy, though: if you are consistently winning, the bookie will closely monitor your activity and, if betting patterns lead them to suspect you are arbing, your account could be restricted or closed, sometimes without warning.

Therefore, the consequences of arbitrage betting are similar to matched betting, you can get gubbed.

So, what do you need for Arbitrage Betting? Are any arbitrage betting software or arbitrage calculators?

Because arbing involves betting for and against an outcome, an account with a betting exchange such as Betfair or Smarkets is essential. And inevitable a bookmakers account. Please visit our Bookmakers page for some amazing offers from major bookmakers.

Also, you are going to need an oddsmatcher to find the opportunities, such as Oddsmonkey’s oddsmatcher or Profit Accumulator oddsmatcher tool.

The value of an arbitrage bet is brought in by mathematical formula and if you apply convenience and accuracy, you are going to end up with an arbitrage betting software. One example, of a very basic arbitrage tool is the matched betting calculator. It allows the user to input both sets of odds (back odds and lay odds), the stake and any commission, to work out how much should be laid (bet against) and the potential profit.

To answer the question, if are arbitrage betting software our there? Yes, are plenty of them, paid or not. With all of this we would recommend not to abuse arbitrage betting. Next let’s see a couple of reasons why is bad for your bookmaker account “health” to use miraclebets, surebets more than occasionaly.

What is the difference between sports betting Arbitrage and Price Boosts?

Are cases when a bookie offers a price boost and as a matched bettor you should see it as a profitable situation. Here’s an example: On William Hill, a treble of Chelsea, Bournemouth and Leeds all to win is boosted to 11.0 from 9.75. However, on Smarkets, you can lay this under their “acca” section to 8.5, allowing you to guarantee yourself a small profit. Keep in mind, that any figure counts towards your monthly income.

Are bookmakers, such as SkyBet, which are boosting their odds every week, meaning that you can guarantee yourself an extra £100 – £150 profit a year just from doing these boosts. Also, worth mentioning, because bookies know that they’re offering price boosts – actually they don’t know that are offering these opportunities, you can “enjoy” lesser chances of getting repercussions. (unless you completely abuse their platform and do only price boosts and no other bets).

In summary, a price boost opportunity is different than a pure betting arbitrage because is offered by them and is not pushing your accounts health to limits. However, keep in mind that you need to use them sensible and are really good for profit short term.

Why Arbitrage Betting is not recommended on regular basis?

One simple reason why arb is not good for your bookmaker account health is because you’re making a profit from a standard bet (rather than a free bet like you do with matched betting), therefore you’re seen as taking way too much value from a bookmaker. Anyone who wins too much or too often with a bookmaker will quickly see their accounts limited.

Every bookmaker will want you to believe is fine for you to win, but in fact is opposite. If you take too much value from them they loose their profits which will lead to make them take actions, in this case getting your account restricted. To avoid this, once in a while you should give back some value to the bookmaker in the form of mug betting; a practice carried out to make it look like we’re regular punters to bookies.

If you intentionally arb on a regular, or even semi-regular basis, you’re going to see your account quickly limited in stakes – and they’re unlikely to be recovered easily or at all. The practice of being limited, or stake restricted, will push most regulars in creating additional accounts or even getting people to bet for them. This is, unsurprisingly, illegal and fraudulent and can have more serious consequences than your account being gubbed.

By the end of day, is up to you what action you take and how you prevent your accounts to be restricted. If you are interested in this type of betting, please read further how much you can make from arbing and you can even explore a specialized paid software.

How much can be made from Arbing?

Arbitrage betting opportunities occur many times, every day on regular basis we can say. However, the ROI (return of investment) is usually low – less than 10 per cent profit. Therefore, arbing is by no means a “get-rich-overnight” system. You need to be patient, diligent, to have composure and to have a strategy in place if you are ever going to use arbitrage betting so you can avoid account restrictions.

Professional arbitrage bettor, Simon Renström is quoted as saying “If gambling is a high-risk lottery, in comparison sports arbitrage is more of a low-risk high-yield investment method”.

Our Arbitrage Betting Tips are:

  1. Just like with matched betting, keeping track of your transactions because as a everyday bettor, it is likely you will have many accounts with a variety of bookmakers and that different amounts of money will be spread across these at any one time.
  2. Always double check the odds before placing both sides of the bet. It is very common for odds to fluctuate, particularly in a popular event or if an event is about to start. The margins can be very tight when arbing and potential profit can soon be wiped out by failing to spot a shift in price.
  3. If you decide to try arbitrage betting, please have a strategy in place and avoid using it on regular basis for the sake of your bookmakers account “health”.

We hope that you understood what is arbitrage betting, how you can take advantage of price boosts scenarios and why is not recommended as a regular basis betting strategy.

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